Lie-detector test of presidential debate proves inconclusive

Photo of Alex Pappas
Alex Pappas
Political Reporter
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

If Barack Obama or Mitt Romney weren’t telling the truth at any point in last night’s debate, it appears they believed their own lies.

The group that got buzz on Wednesday by paying a security firm to use new truth detecting technology to give both candidates a lie-detector test during the debate said the preliminary results do not indicate any major lies from Obama or Romney.

“The lie detector voice analysis tests of the presidential debate were found to be inconclusive by Voice Analysis Technology,” a spokesman for the group, Americans for Limited Government, said Thursday.

“The technology can detect a deception if the
 person knows they are deceiving, but if they believe what they are saying is true, even if it is not, it is not picked up,” the group said.

The results are apparently a let down for the group, who had suggested that the test could help voters understand when the candidates weren’t being truthful during the debate.

Prior to the debate, Bill Wilson, the president of Americans for Limited Government, said: “For the first time, within a few hours of a political debate, the American people will know if the candidates are telling the truth, and better be able to judge what promises are real, and which ones are nothing more than political pandering,”

It’s possible more information will come out from the test. On Thursday, the group said they were still going over the results. “We are engaging in further review of these reports.”

Voice Analysis Technology, the security firm involved, has done work for high-profile criminal cases including for the case of Natalie Holloway, the Alabama high school student who died in Aruba.

They’ve also done interrogations for the Department of Defense, Bureau of Prisons, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and 60 other law enforcement agencies, according to the group.

The company was also used to show that a woman who accused former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of harassment was untruthful in her allegations.

The company’s technology is different than typical polygraph tests. The voice analysis, according to the group, “measures the voice patterns of individuals and determines whether the speaker is telling the truth or not. It also measures the level of stress the person is under, as well as their level of concentration.”

Follow Alex on Twitter